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Workbench plans?

Old 11-17-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default Workbench plans?

I'm thinking making a second workbench (for that SE5a) and might get some of the lumber cut at the local hardware shop. I talked to the guy in their shop and he said just to bring in a sketch. So does anyone happen to have a sketch of a nice (and cheap) workbench that I might use as a starting point?
Old 11-18-2010, 09:59 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

Actually I found tonnes of free workbench plans and some good YouTube videos:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0vqgU7FJe8[/youtube]
Old 11-18-2010, 10:07 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

For those of you who have an "official" building table/workbench what are you using at the main top surface? On the plans I've looked at there seem to be two basic variations: 1) a frame of 2x4 with a sheet of ply screwed on and 2) two sheets of MDF glued and screwed together.
Old 11-18-2010, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

Harbor Freight sell one for $100 with a light and outlets for charging: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/fb.asp?m=10140933 The hardwood one is $160
Old 11-18-2010, 10:37 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

I'm looking to spend about $100 or so on wood and cutting at the local shop. My basic plan is to have the parts cut for a table that would use a standard sheet of ply as the basic dimension.
Old 11-19-2010, 02:25 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

I ordered the following workbench plans online (as an immediately downloadable pdf) for $4.95. It's a basic bench made of simple 2x4s but looks like it'll do the job. Then I took the drawing to the local hardware shop and talked through (in Japanese) some modifications with the old guy who works in their carpentry shop. The cut lumber minus the top should run me around $40. Then, a top piece will cost between $25 and $50 depending on the quality. For $25 I can get a 1800 x 900 x 20 sheet of particle board or for the $50 I can get a 25mm wood core veneer top. In either case, I'd top this with a sheet of foam and plastic for building.

The workbench will only be about 70cm tall as I prefer to sit while building (most of the time).

http://www.ezwoodshop.com/ezworkbenchplanner.html
Old 11-19-2010, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

Thirty years ago I built a knock-down bench using 2X4s jointed flat on one edge and a 1/2" ply top. The legs and cross braces are 2X4 too. Overall very similar to the one built by "Flash" in the video. It has moved house 5 times now. Set up just requires 5 minutes with a level and shims, (if necessary). Cheap, quick and easy. I have used it to build models, furniture and finished basements!

Martin
Old 11-19-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

I didn't notice you live in Japan. My apologies. The lumber you can get there is probably much superior to what we see here in the states not to mention the workmanship. It's almost impossible to get a straight 2X4 anymore much less good clear wood. Post a picture when it's up and building.
Old 11-19-2010, 09:18 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

Will do. The cut lumber should be available on Sunday. BTW, I was surprised to find that "2x4s" are in fact NOT 2" x 4" inches here. Are they in the US? The standard boards, still labeled as 2x4 are actually about 1.5" x 3.5" And yes generally the wood here is good quality. In fact, if I wanted I could buy a $5,000 piece of 5" thick naturally burled wood for the top!
Old 11-19-2010, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

Yes, they are the same here. I guess 2X4s are 2X4s but not really. Just for grins and since you are frequenting the lumber store, what exotic woods are available there? Anything like Ironwood or such?
Old 11-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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ORIGINAL: Chip_Mull
...what exotic woods are available there? Anything like Ironwood or such?
No "exotic" woods (like you'd find at Rocklers) at all. But the standard hardwood in model sizes is "hinoki" which is Japanese cypress. That's what I use for all spars. Occasionally you can also find "keyaki" as described below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zelkova_serrata
Old 11-19-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

"Tubafors" are only nominally 2" X 4". Originally this was the rough cut dimension and the lumber was then dressed flat and even. Over time, they became somewhat standardized at 1 1/2" X 3 1/2". Other sizes are 1/2" undersize too.

Martin
Old 11-20-2010, 04:05 PM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

Hey Abu, Make it taller and get a stool, that way you are always accomodatedd. I stand when framing and sit while detailing.

DJ
Old 11-20-2010, 07:26 PM
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ORIGINAL: cocobear
Hey Abu, Make it taller and get a stool, that way you are always accomodatedd. I stand when framing and sit while detailing.
Actually, that describes what I do pretty much. I guess I've been doing so much detailing lately, I sort of forgot about framing! Anyway, I've already had the parts cut, but I can also prop the whole thing up on cinder blocks if I want it taller.

As I was sorting out the SE5a parts on the Japanese style bed about 30cm off the floor, I was kneeling Japanese style. That definitely wasn't going to work!
Old 11-21-2010, 08:11 AM
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The cut lumber was ready today and the parts look great..and the wood looks great! The 2x4 all look really straight and are very clear wood. I may have mis-communicated the length of the base, but I'm not sure I don't prefer it like this (with a bit more overhang than the 20cm I had in mind). At this point I can still change my mind. But I general like the height and the spacing on the leg doubler pieces looks right. I decided to go with the "nice" wood-core with veneer top (1800x900) instead of the cheaper particle board. The wood grain on the veneer is so beautiful, I'll be happy to use this as my "drafting table" as well.

Total cost so far:

Cut lumber: 2,600 yen (about $30)
Table top: 5,000 yen (20mm wood-core, about $60, particle board would have been $30)

I still need to have the ply "shelf" cut, but I thought it would be easier for me to communicate that once the basic frame was done. According to the plans this shelf is cut in two halves so it can just slide in. Also I might prefer to have two supporting cross beams in each frame and I might still decide to lengthen the base (so have them cut 4 new longer pieces).

Old 11-21-2010, 08:38 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

as a millman by trade, i was expecting the quality you show in your photo............try getting good straight stock like that at the local Home Depot here is like trying to find a needle in a crashed balsa plane stack
kids over here have no clue as to what wood milling is all about.
just ask a kid here in the states waht a Dozuki is...........you'll get plenty of laughs
Old 11-21-2010, 08:54 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

ORIGINAL: summerwind
just ask a kid here in the states waht a Dozuki is...........you'll get plenty of laughs
I didn't know this word in Japanese but of course I've seen the Japanese style saws. I don't have one (yet) but they really look nice and some modelers swear by them. They sure make short work of bamboo at the flying field! The good ones (that I'd want to use for modeling) cost about $40.
Old 11-21-2010, 09:04 AM
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i first used one back in the 80's when i had my cabinet shop to cut crown moulding in the field. they cut like a razor blade with minimal effort and cutting on the back stroke makes for precision that is just too easy.
Old 11-21-2010, 09:40 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

This photo gives an idea of the height of the workbench and also shows how this width for the base allows me to use a total of 6 plastic cabinets (3 under the shelf and 3 on top of the shelf).
Old 11-21-2010, 10:28 AM
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u'll fill that space up in no time
looks like nice straight material too
Old 11-21-2010, 10:49 AM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

My plan is to lay the top down and build the frames on top of the top to have the flattest surface possible. The tatami mats are a little irregular. I just hope my cheap-o hand drill is up to the task. I have this vision of drilling one hole, putting in one screw, and then having to recharge the battery. But I'm not about to buy a $100+ drill to build an $80 table.
Old 11-21-2010, 10:54 AM
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ORIGINAL: abufletcher

My plan is to lay the top down and build the frames on top of the top to have the flattest surface possible. The tatami mats are a little irregular. I just hope my cheap-o hand drill is up to the task. I have this vision of drilling one hole, putting in one screw, and then having to recharge the battery. But I'm not about to buy a $100+ drill to build an $80 table.
at least you know to drill the hole first.
i see so many rocket scientist's trying to screw through one 2by into another without first drilling a hole, and then wonder why they end up with this rickity frame.......i've explained to a few of the new generation carpenters that by drilling a hole first makes thing easier and tighter.........responses have been anything from "yeah but that takes too much time"..........to a blank stare that resembles a sharks cold lifeless eyes
Old 11-21-2010, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: Workbench plans?

On my main island bench, I used 1" MDF for the top. Very smooth and hard and dead flat. I applied I think 6 coats of polyurethane with block sanding and leveling in between each coat. Then I gave it a few coats of Minnwax wood wax.Most glues that I spill just flake off after the spot dries hard. It's held up to some pretty hard abuse after 3 years so far.
Old 11-21-2010, 07:47 PM
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ORIGINAL: flyingvranch

On my main island bench, I used 1'' MDF for the top. Very smooth and hard and dead flat. I applied I think 6 coats of polyurethane with block sanding and leveling in between each coat. Then I gave it a few coats of Minnwax wood wax.Most glues that I spill just flake off after the spot dries hard. It's held up to some pretty hard abuse after 3 years so far.
now that is a nice workroom.
love the way you integrated the table saw into the bench.
Old 11-21-2010, 08:16 PM
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Yes, almost "too" nice!

Looking at my cut parts I can see that while all the lengths are perfectly matched, the leg parts don't precisely add up. Either the short parts are about 1/8-1/4" too long or the main leg is a bit too short. Anyway, it looks like there's not quite enough space for the 12mm ply shelf. I'll chalk that up to my imperfect Japanese skills, not to mention a somewhat fuzzy idea of the whole thing I had when trying to explain it. Since the parts were so cheap, I'll probably just have a few new lengths cut.

I'm thinking of going with longer "stretchers" so that I can fit in four of the plastic cabinets (since I already have four) and the extra space would be useful anyway. I can't see the value in having the overhang on the ends. And since I'm making the frames longer, I think I will go ahead and put two cross-pieces in each frame.

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